[Editor’s note: The following tribute to Connie Panzarino was received too late for the July 10th edition. Despite the delay in publishing, we did want to mark the passing of this disability activist.]
Connie Panzarino of Jamaica Plain Massachusetts, born November 26, 1947, passed away July 4, 2001. Ms. Panzarino was an author, artist, activist, and psychotherapist with spinal muscular atrophy which by adulthood allowed only movement of her right thumb and facial muscles. Daily full-time attendant care allowed her to run her household and lead a very active life.
Connie was an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and lesbians. As a Registered Art Therapist she worked for over 18 years with survivors of physical and sexual abuse. She lectured nationwide on the subjects of disability, homophobia, sexism, and the ethics of genetic engineering. Connie authored books for children, and wrote numerous short stories, essays, and magazine articles. Her autobiography, The Me in the Mirror (Seal Press, 1994), serves to educate and enlighten.
A fund is being established to continue Connie’s work; for information contact Cyndy Miller, 617-731-6228.